Tag Archives: Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche Churros with Orange Zest & Cinnamon

I must have been a toddler when I had my  first Mexican Churro. Growing up in Los Angeles, every other Sunday we would visit one of our local swap meets or as they are known in Texas, La Pulga (flea markets). The swap meet was where you could find, old and new items, fresh produce and of course those warm and sugary Mexican style churros. We never prepared them at home since they were available in a variety of locations. It really was more of a special treat we looked forward to every time we visited the swap meet.

I am not 100 % sure about this, but I believe the origins  of the churro come from Spain.  Although all of my life, I just knew them as a wonderful Mexican treat. Churros are typically fried and sprinkled with a sugar/cinnamon mix. They can be served simply with a cup of hot chocolate or cafe for dipping during brunch. One of my favorite ways to enjoy churros is the way you will find them in Mexico, filled with cajeta or dulce de leche. For this recipe, the already prepared dulce de leche in incorporated into the dough.
This recipe was adapted from Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, owners of  Border Grill. I have been a long time fan of their cooking shows since their days on Food Network.

Dulce de Leche Churros

Toasting the Flour for Churros

Churro dough after dulce de leche is mixed in

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups water
13 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
5 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla
1 cup dulce de leche caramel

You will also need
Oil for frying
A pastry bag
A large star tip for pastry bag
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2  more tablespoons cinnamon

Dulce de Leche Churros

 

Directions

1. In a large pot, add the water, butter, brown sugar, orange zest and salt. Bring up to a boil, add all the flour and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Using a wooden spoon stir quickly to form a dough ball. Cook for a few minutes to toast the flour.

2. Remove from heat. If you have a stand mixer, you could transfer now. I left mine right in the pot and used my electric mixer to mix while adding one egg at a time. Mix well after each egg.

3. Scrape down sides, add vanilla and mix well. Finally, add in the dulce de leche. You could transfer the mixture to the refrigerator until you are ready to use. If frying right away, transfer half of the mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.

4. In a heavy pot, preheat canola oil (about 4 cups)to 375 degrees F. Now you can make bite size churros, about 2 inches long, or you can make a them up to 5 inches long. Use a small knife to cut off as you carefully drop them into the oil. Fry for about 4 minutes, drain onto baking sheet lined with paper towels. Dredge in cinnamon/sugar mixture while the churros are still warm. The centers will be soft because of the dulce de leche. This recipe yields 8 to 10 servings.

mmmmmm....mmmmmm!!
mmmmmm….mmmmmm!!

Tips~ My best tip when preparing churros is if possible, do not fry them until an hour before serving. If you have to make them ahead of time, let them cool on baking sheet. Cover loosely or they will have a tendency to become humid or moist and that will ruin the crispy texture. When I prepared these, after dipping them in the sugar mixture, I stored them in my cool oven uncovered until the next day.

 

Dulce de Leche Churros

Tamales de Piña y Nuez con Cajeta~ Sweet Tamales

Since my trip to Mexico in 2011, I have been even more eager to learn new and authentic Mexican recipes. Many of my family members in Mexico share the same passion for cooking as I do. They were all so gracious and willing to teach me some great new dishes.  And along with some new dishes, I have learned some long time traditions, such as celebrating “El Dia de la Candelaria”.  This day represents a fusion of  pre-Hispanic traditions and Catholic beliefs. Many typical Mexican dishes are prepared on February 2nd. One of the most popular to date is sweet tamales.
My cousin, Ismael, in particular took it upon himself to continue sharing tasty recipes that are published in the local newspaper “El Norte”. This tamale recipe was adapted from one of their recent publications. The first time I prepared it, I followed it exactly as printed. But, as soon as I tasted the first tamal, I knew something was missing. Water, liquid! There was none listed in the ingredients and with as many tamales that I have prepared in the past 10 years, that should have been a red flag. Second batch, added water and so much better! The tamal is like a sweet corn bread with hints of pineapple, pecans and warm dulce de leche.
 
Ingredients
1 stick of butter, at room temp.
5 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups masa harina
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup pineapple preserves
1/2 cup pineapple, diced
1/4 cup finely crushed pecans, plus more for garnish (crushed or halved)
15 to 20 corn husk
1 cup of cajeta or dulce de leche for garnish (slightly warmed)
Sweet Pineapple Pecan Tamales with Dulce de LecheDirections
1. Soak 20 corn husk in really hot water, set aside.
 
2. Cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. In another bowl, combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt. Gradually add in the warm water until dough forms.
 

3. Mix in the masa to the creamed butter/sugar mixture. Fold in the pineapple and crushed pecans.

4. Shake off excess water from corn husk and fill them with about 3 tablespoons of filling down the center. Fold over to close and arrange open side up in steamer pot. Add plenty of water and steam for one hour. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Yields 15 to 20 tamales. Garnish with dulce de leche or cajeta and pecan pieces.

Tips~ When steaming tamales, set your timer for 30 minutes and add a little more hot water to ensure it will not run out. Start heat on high, then reduce to medium. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Tamales de Piña y Nuez con Cajeta
For more information about El Dia de la Candelaria visit http://www.bajainsider.com/baja-life/holidays/diadelacandelariamexico.htm

Con Amor~ Pink Butter Cookies filled with Dulce de Leche

I am always saying how baking is not my favorite thing, but I find myself wanting to do it more and more. It’s not the same as cooking a savory dish, where some nights you can just throw a few ingredients together and create a meal. Baking is not something you rush through. For this cookie I used my “Mexican Polvorones” recipe, and with a few adjustments a Valentine’s cookie was born. And I am never without a can or two of dulce de leche for when the mood strikes! Feliz Dia Del Amor y Amistad… Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pink Butter Cookies with Dulce de Leche

Yields 12 to 14 sandwiched cookies
Ingredients:

1 cup of butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon apple pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
2¼ cups of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar in the raw or turbinado sugar, set aside
Red food coloring
1½ cups dulce de leche

Con Amor Cookies

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350º F. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking soda, apple pie spice and salt. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining flour. If dough is crumbly, gently knead the dough with your hands.

2. Add a couple of drops of red food coloring and work into dough with your hands until desired color of pink. Divide the dough in half.

3. On a flat, floured surface, roll out half of dough to about 1/3 inch thickness. Using a small heart shaped cookie cutter cut out as many hearts as you can. Make sure you use enough flour and that you don’t roll the dough out too thin. Will make it easier for cutting out cookies. Transfer the cut outs to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Repeat with second dough ball.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool completely. Fill a pastry bag with 1½ cups of dulce de leche and pipe about 1½ tablespoons of dulce de leche onto flat (back) side of the cookies. Stack the other cookie on top to make a sandwich. Makes about 12 to 14 sandwiched cookies.

Note: If you do not have a pastry bag, use a plastic storage bag and just cup the tip with scissors to pipe onto cookie. You could make larger cookies and simply dust them with powdered sugar. The cookie cutter I used for the sandwiched cookies is about 1½ to 2 inches across.